Charles Stanley – Why is it wise to wait on God?

It is always wise to wait on God. Why?

First, it is wise to wait because God gives clear direction only when we are willing to wait. Remember, we don’t operate like the world operates. Instant gratification of need defines society. But we, as believers, live differently. We don’t take our cues from the world. We take them from God. He will give us clear direction, whether it is guidance for making a move or changing a career or choosing a mate. However, much to the distress of many, He seldom does it quickly. We must wait until He is ready to give direction.

God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Ps. 32:8). We must wait until He is ready to give counsel to us. I know it’s hard. No one ever said it would be easy. However, it is absolutely worth it.

Second, it is wise to wait because God uses that waiting time to get us in step with His timing. Being in step with the Father’s timing gives us a sense of peace. However, when we run ahead of Him, we will constantly be trying to figure out how to make our decisions work. Instead of peace, we will feel the chaos of our choices.

Third, it is always wise to wait because God uses the time of waiting to prepare us for the answer. As earthly parents, we don’t give our children everything they ask for. Sometimes we know that the timing isn’t right. How much more our heavenly Father knows this for His children. He waits until we are able to handle the blessing with grace and trust.

Fourth, it is always wise to wait because waiting strengthens our faith. We might want to say, “Okay, God. I’ve learned as much faith as I care to. You can act now.” But when we realize that God is more interested in our character than in our comfort, waiting is a lot more palatable.

Fifth, it is always wise to wait because God gets our attention and sifts our motives. While waiting and praying for the promotion at work, we have time to think through our motives. Why do we really want that promotion? Do we want it to get more money or so others will think we are powerful? Could it be we want the promotion so we have a greater platform to serve the Lord? If we allow God to sift through our motives, the truth will surface—good or bad. It is amazing what we learn about ourselves through this waiting period.

So it is wise to wait because:

  1. He gives clear direction.
  2. He gets us in step with Himself.
  3. He prepares us for what He has in store for us.
  4. He strengthens our faith.
  5. He gets our attention and sifts our motives.

Waiting is one of the more difficult things in the Christian life. However, it is never wasted time. God teaches us His path, changes our circumstances, keeps us in step with Himself, prepares us for His answers, and uses times of waiting to sift our motives and strengthen our faith.

The question comes: With all the advantages of waiting, why do we rush ahead as if we don’t have a trustworthy Father? We need to hit the pause button in our lives and take our lives out of the fast forward mode. God will amaze us with what He is doing while we wait on Him and watch Him work.

Adapted from Charles Stanley’s Handbook for Christian Living,” 1996.

 

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When is it wise to wait?

Waiting is one of the more difficult things in the Christian life. However, it is never wasted time. God teaches us His path, changes our circumstances, keeps us in step with Himself, prepares us for His answers, and uses times of waiting to sift our motives and strengthen our faith. (Listen to When is it wise to wait?)

 

Our Daily Bread — Johnny’s Race

 

Hebrews 10:19-25

Comfort each other and edify one another. —1 Thessalonians 5:11

When 19-year-old Johnny Agar finished the 5k race, he had a lot of people behind him—family members and friends who were celebrating his accomplishment.

Johnny has cerebral palsy, which makes physical activity difficult. But he and his dad, Jeff, have teamed up to compete in many races—Dad pushing and Johnny riding. But one day, Johnny wanted to finish by himself. Halfway through the race, his dad took him out of his cart, helped him to his walker, and assisted Johnny as he completed the race on his own two feet. That led to a major celebration as friends and family cheered his accomplishment. “It made it easier for me to do it with them behind me,” Johnny told a reporter. “The encouragement is what drove me.”

Isn’t that what Christ-followers are meant to do? Hebrews 10:24 reminds us, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (NIV). As we model the love of our Savior (John 13:34-35), imagine the difference it could make if we all set out to encourage each other—if we always knew that behind us we had a group of friends cheering us on. If we took the words “comfort each other and edify one another” (1 Thess. 5:11) seriously, the race would be easier for all of us. —Dave Branon

Help us, Lord, not to think that we can go through

life without others. Cure us of our independent

spirit. Use us to bless others and humble

us to accept encouragement.

A word of encouragement can make the difference between giving up or going on.

Bible in a year: Daniel 5-7; 2 John

Insight

The “Holiest” (Heb. 10:19) was a reference to the Holy of Holies in ancient Israel’s tabernacle and temple. It was viewed as the dwelling place of God among His people and could only be entered once a year, and then only by the high priest. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest would take the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies to atone for the people’s sins for another year. However, the work of our High Priest, Jesus, is so complete that we now have the freedom to enter into God’s presence at any time. In fact, we can enter boldly because as a result of Christ’s sacrifice we are welcomed into the Father’s presence. This intimate relationship we have with our Father causes us to want to share His grace with others.

Alistair Begg – Passion to Save Souls

 

I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.   1 Corinthians 9:22

Paul’s great object was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he desired to see men renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact saved. Have our Christian efforts been aimed at anything below this great objective? Then let us correct our ways, for what good will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved? If through life we have sought inferior objects and forgotten that men needed to be saved, then we will be held accountable.

Paul knew the ruin of man’s natural state and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come. To accomplish their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to spreading the Gospel, to warning and beseeching men to be reconciled to God. His prayers were persistent and his labors incessant. His consuming passion, his ambition, his calling was to save souls. He became a servant to all men, working for them, feeling a woe within him if he did not preach the Gospel. He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if men would just receive the Gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies. The Gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some, he would be content. This was the crown for which he extended himself, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labors and self-denials.

Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls to this extent? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners. Can we not live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where is our love for Christ, if we do not seek His honor in the salvation of men? Lord Jesus, saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men.

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The family reading plan for December 7, 2014 * Habakkuk 2 * Luke 21

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Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

Charles Spurgeon – Turn or burn

 

“If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.” Psalm 7:12

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

God has a sword, and he will punish man on account of his iniquity. This evil generation has laboured to take away from God the sword of his justice; they have endeavoured to prove to themselves that God will “clear the guilty,” and will by no means “punish iniquity, transgression and sin.” Two hundred years ago the predominant strain of the pulpit was one of terror: it was like Mount Sinai, it thundered forth the dreadful wrath of God, and from the lips of a Baxter or a Bunyan, you heard most terrible sermons, full to the brim with warnings of judgment to come. Perhaps some of the Puritan fathers may have gone too far, and have given too great a prominence to the terrors of the Lord in their ministry: but the age in which we live has sought to forget those terrors altogether, and if we dare to tell men that God will punish them for their sins, it is charged upon us that we want to bully them into religion, and if we faithfully and honestly tell our hearers that sin must bring after it certain destruction, it is said that we are attempting to frighten them into goodness. Now we care not what men mockingly impute to us; we feel it our duty, when men sin, to tell them they shall be punished, and so long as the world will not give up its sin we feel we must not cease our warnings. But the cry of the age is, that God is merciful, that God is love. Who said he was not? But remember, it is equally true, God is just, severely and inflexibly just. He were not God, if he were not just; he could not be merciful if he were not just.

For meditation: The “meek and lowly” Lord Jesus Christ spoke often of judgment because of his care for the souls of men and his longing for them to repent and find rest (Matthew 11:20-30).

Sermon no. 106

7 December (1856)

John MacArthur – The Creator of the World

 

“In these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son . . . through whom also He made the world” (Heb. 1:2).

Christ is the agent through whom God created the world.

John 1:3 testifies, “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Jesus has the ability to create something out of nothing (cf. Rom. 4:17), and that sets Him apart from mere creatures. Only God can create like that; we can’t. If you could create, you’d live in a different house, drive a different car, and probably have a different job—if you had any job at all. You could just sit in your backyard and make money. Fortunately, God didn’t give depraved men and women the right to be creators.

The ability to create ex nihilo belongs to God alone and the fact that Jesus creates like that indicates He is God and establishes His absolute superiority over everything. He created everything material and spiritual. Though man has stained His work with sin, Christ originally made it good, and the very creation itself longs to be restored to what it was in the beginning (Rom. 8:22).

The common Greek word for “world” is kosmos, but that’s not the one used in Hebrews 1:2. The word here is aionas, which does not refer to the material world but to “the ages,” as it is often translated. Jesus Christ is responsible for creating not only the physical earth, but also time, space, energy, and matter. The writer of Hebrews does not restrict Christ’s creation to this earth; he shows us that Christ is the Creator of the entire universe and of existence itself. And He made it all without effort.

What about you? If you don’t recognize God as the Creator, you’ll have difficulty explaining how this universe came into being. Where did it all come from? Who conceived it? Who made it? It cannot be an accident. Someone made it, and the Bible tells us who He is: Jesus Christ.

Suggestion for Prayer; Praise God for the wonder of His creation, which we can so easily take for granted.

For Further Study; Read Colossians 1:16-23 to discover the relationship between the creation and your salvation.

Joyce Meyer – Let God Be God

 

Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert. —Isaiah 50:2

We can worry about hundreds of different things—from what people think of us to what will happen to us as we age. How long will we be able to work? Who will take care of us when we get old if we are not able to care for ourselves? What happens if the stock market crashes? What if gas prices go up? What if I lose my job? Quite often, worry does not even have a basis or a nugget of truth to it. There is no known reason to even think about the things that worry and then frighten us. Worry can even become a bad habit. It is just what we do! Some people fret over something all the time. If they don’t have problems of their own, they worry about other people and their problems.

The only answer is to “stop worrying and place your trust in God.” He has the future all planned, and He knows the answer to everything. His Word promises us that He will take care of us if we trust in Him.

Lord, my future is in Your hands. In reality, I can’t truly control anything. I humble myself before You and cast my cares into Your hands. Thank You for Your care. Amen.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Entirely by Faith

 

“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (1 John 5:14,15, KJV).

A friend who had participated in one of our lay institutes a few years ago shared with me his experience when he first realized the practical benefits of the biblical concepts which I like to call “spiritual breathing” – exhale by confession and inhale by claiming the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith in accordance with the promise of 1 John 5:14,15.

This friend had agreed to teach a Sunday school class of young students. But there was one problem: he was apprehensive about the assignment because he had never taught studies (of the age)?

My friend planned to arrive at church early in order to make proper preparation for the arrival of his new class. He had asked his family to be ready to leave the house early on that Sunday morning.

As sometimes happens, the family was late in getting ready and, as he sat in the car in the hot sun, he began to resent his family’s tardiness. He began to fume and fuss while waiting for them. The longer he waited, the more tense and irritated he became.

Finally, his family loaded into the car – and he was ready to explode with anger. Before he went very far, the Holy Spirit reminded him that his attitude and actions were not honoring to the Lord.

Furthermore, he knew that he would be sharing with the children in Sunday school about God’s love, forgiveness and patience. Applying the principle of “spiritual breathing,” he exhaled by confessing his sin and inhaled by appropriating the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith. Filled with the Holy Spirit and overflowing with God’s love, he introduced several young men to Christ that morning.

Bible Reading: Romans 1:8-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Whenever the need arises, I will practice “spiritual breathing” to help me experience spiritual victory and live a supernatural life. I will tell other Christians about the concept of “spiritual breathing.”

Presidential Prayer Team; P.G. – Sweet Aroma

Pearl Harbor: in 1941, the scene of a surprise attack by Japan that helped lead America into World War II. On that day, acrid, choking smoke filled the air. If you have been fortunate enough to visit that scene more recently, you cannot help but inhale the wafting sweetness of tuberose, jasmine, and hibiscus. The fragrances spread freely – a sensory gift from the islands.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ…spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

II Corinthians 2:14

In 2015, when the rotting stench of terrorism and authoritarianism cover much of the world, and religious freedoms are at global peril, consider that God has called America…and, in particular, American Christians…to sweetly represent Him in such a way that knowledge of the Lord permeates from distant villages to near metropolises. Too big an undertaking, you say?

Pass these sniff tests. Rather than being consumed with the “sweet smell of success,” let your life be fragrant with sincerity, sacrifice, and service. God doesn’t require great things from you. A cup of cold water in my name, Jesus said (Mark 9:41). To the one who receives it, it’s as glorious as a lei of tuberoses.

Recommended Reading: II Corinthians 2:15-3:3